The Curse of Lottery Winners
“Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” – Vince Lombardi
Many pray to win the lottery hoping it will solve all of their money problems. However, with more money comes a greater responsibility. If you don’t handle money well before you have millions, what makes you think you can handle millions? Money is never the root answer to a problem. In fact, many who win the lottery seem to multiply their problems. Take for example:
* Kenneth and Connie Parker were winners of a $25 million jackpot. Their 16-year marriage disintegrated just months after they became rich beyond their wildest dreams.
* Jeffrey Dampier, a $20 million winner, was kidnapped and murdered by his own sister-in-law.
* William “Bud” Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 but now lives on his $450.00 a month Social Security check after relatives, and an ex-girlfriend tormented him until he invested and shared his millions with them.
* $314.9 million dollar Powerball winner Jack Whittaker was sued by an Atlantic City casino in 2004 for allegedly writing bad checks from a closed bank account in West Virginia.
* Evelyn Adams, who won the $5.4 million dollar New Jersey lottery not just once, but twice in 1985 and again in 1986 gambled most of it away, and became broke.
* 1993 Missouri lottery winner Janite Lee won $18 million and filed for filing bankruptcy just eight years after her stroke of good fortune hit.
* Billie Bob Harrell Jr. hit the $37 million dollar Texas jackpot in 1997 and ended his own life less than two years later when he realized that all he wanted his marriage more than the money, but that it was too late to fix the strained marriage. Why was it strained? His spending habits spiraled out of control, and his wife only wanted a normal life which was anything but.
* Juan Rodriguez had been thrown out by his wife Iris prior to purchasing a winning New York lottery ticket worth $149 million. She reconciled with him for two weeks, and then filed for a divorce taking half of his winnings with her.
The examples go on and on…Many people wish, dream and pray for a quick fix. My point is fixing the problems before asking for more money. You should be very careful about what you wish for as everything comes with a price, including winning the lottery – especially when it involves winning millions of dollars.
The actual chances of becoming a multimillion dollar lottery winner are astronomical to begin with, but when it does occur, miraculous things can happen that will forever change a person’s life, for better or worse. Even though huge winnings can change a person’s life style dramatically, it is said that if you were happy before winning a huge sum of money, then you will be happy afterwards, but if you were an extremely unhappy person to begin with, winning a multimillion dollar jackpot will change nothing except the size of your bank account. In other words, the problems that you had are still lying in wait to rear their ugly head, and the lottery money only temporarily covers up the problems for a brief period.
Experts have looked into the lives of past lottery winners and have learned that not all multimillion dollar winners have a happy ending. A common issue within our society is the belief that money solves most of our problems. Another big problem is the lack of financial guidance when being handed over a large amount of money. In fact nearly one third of multimillion dollar lottery winners become bankrupt in just a few short years after they’re big win. If you are not accustomed to having great wealth as many of these big lottery winners were not, then the problems that come with suddenly having a lot of money overnight can be so overwhelming that depression becomes inevitable.